Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Friends of the UNO Library Raise Funds for New Books and Materials

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The Friends of the UNO Library this month held their semi-annual “Books and Brownies” fundraiser, a combination used book and bake sale, which in spring also includes a raffle. This year the popular raffle offered more than two dozen prizes and featured an Apple iPad mini, lunch for two at Commander’s Palace, and a long list of gift certificates to music venues, restaurants, book stores and clothing shops. The event raised almost $5,000, all to be used to support the Earl K. Long Library on the UNO campus.

Mark Your Calendar!

On Aug. 18, Ye Olde College Inn Restaurant will donate 20 percent of all food purchases to the Friends of the UNO Library.

Support the UNO Library! Have fun at Ye Olde College Inn!

The Friends of the UNO Library began fundraising for the Library in 1977 by selling hot dogs at UNO’s April fest. The fundraising continued, with used books quickly replacing hot dogs as the merchandise. Now volunteers collect book donations year round and hold two book sales each year, drawing customers from all parts of the city to campus. The annual raffle was added a few years ago, along with sales of specially designed T-shirts and notecards featuring vintage photos of the early UNO campus.

The newest fundraiser involves a partnership with Ye Olde College Inn restaurant on Carrollton Avenue. On a selected day, 20 percent of all food purchases at Johnny Blancher’s popular restaurant are donated to the Friends of the UNO Library. Last year, the restaurant’s dining room was full of enthusiastic UNO supporters enjoying delicious food and socializing from table to table. The date for this year’s event at Ye Olde College Inn is August 18 – mark your calendar!

Through these efforts the Friends of the UNO Library are able to raise thousands of dollars each year for library materials, special equipment, program improvement, and to help support staff development. Over the years the Friends have sponsored or co-sponsored lectures by UNO and visiting scholars and worked with University departments to host public lecture series in association with UNO courses. Occasionally the Friends invite local authors to campus to discuss their recent books with campus audiences. Rick Bragg, Andre Codrescu, and Jason Barry are just a few who of those who have participated in these “Meet the Author” presentations.

Join the Friends of the UNO Library!

The Friends of the UNO Library raise thousands of dollars each year for library materials, special equipment, program improvement and staff development. They sponsor lectures and visiting scholars and bring local authors to campus.

To join the Friends of the UNO Library, click here.

When funds are tight, support from the Friends is vital. Just this year the Friends funded the purchase of an expensive dedicated server for the recently digitized Louisiana Supreme Court records held in UNO’s Special Collections. These records date back to 1813 and scholars both local and from far afield come to our campus to use them for their research. The Special Collections at UNO also house the Orleans Parish School Board records, which date to 1866, the Katz and Besthoff (K&B) archives, a vast collection of New Orleans funeral records, and much more. At the Friends Annual Meeting on May 5, Dr. Florence Jumonville, who has been the librarian in charge of Special Collections for 18 years, will give a talk about the growth of these holdings during her time at UNO.

Support from the Friends has also been used to enhance Library space for use by the UNO community. A few years ago the organization fitted out the “Dougie Hitt” room (Library 407), named after the wife of UNO’s first Chancellor and used by groups across campus as a lecture venue and gathering space.  Other spaces have been improved for more effective technology use or simply comfort.

Follow the Friends on Facebook

Friends of the UNO Library receive advance notice of events and free admission to “first look” at used book sales. You can keep also keep track of Friends activities by “liking” their Facebook page look for Friends of the UNO Earl K. Long Library.

Who are the Friends of the UNO Library? The core membership brings together a body of 45-50 people who love UNO and are keenly interested in helping to build a strong research library for the University. An 18-member Board of Directors that includes alumni, faculty, and staff (both active and retired) meets twice a year to vote on spending projects and plan fundraising events. These board members give generously of their time as volunteers to carry out the planned activities. Their mission is simply to support UNO by maintaining the vital functions of the library – an even more challenging task now when the University is weathering severe budget cuts. The UNO community and supporters from the New Orleans metropolitan area contribute their support by attending book sales and buying raffle tickets.

UNO’s Earl K. Long Library offers a wealth of materials in print, film, and electronic formats as well as access to research databases in a variety of disciplines and special collections that cannot be obtained in any other library. Here, the UNO community has at its disposal computer labs, meeting space, study areas for individuals and groups, and a staff of professional librarians to assist with research.

If you are interested in becoming part of the Friends’ effort to support the Library, please consider becoming a member. The membership form can be found at http://library.uno.edu/giving/friends.cfm. Dues start at $5 for students and continue through various levels to $25 for family membership. Some donors choose to contribute at a higher level. Friends of the UNO Library receive advance notice of events and free admission to “first look” at used book sales. You can keep also keep track of Friends activities by “liking” their Facebook page look for Friends of the UNO Earl K. Long Library.